Dear Carol: Dad was sick for a long time before he died three months ago. Now, without Dad around, my sisters and I notice how much Mom has aged. We’d like Mom to move from her house into assisted living , because caring for the house is too much for her and she just stares at the TV all day. She says she’s not ready to move. How can we help her make the change? – Shawn
Dear Shawn: Long-term marriages often evolve into an efficient support system so it’s not unusual that your Mom’s aging was less apparent while your dad was alive. Likely, her grief over your dad’s death has taken a toll, as well. You may want to make an appointment with her doctor to rule out clinical depression or other issues just to be certain she’s okay.